-Having half the world on social media isn’t even the craziest stat of today
-Businesses can’t escape the Social Media machine
-The insanity that is Lil Nas X and the historical run of “Old Town Road”
“Warning: objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.”
-Some Guy that wasn’t paying close enough attention
Welcome back to another blog post with yours truly. Let’s get right into it. Social Media has connected millions of people from all over the globe and it doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon. This power of connectivity has amassed such strength that it has been able to achieve a world altering state that we can never be put back in the box. It affects politics and governments, it sparks revolutions and trends, and it gives everybody (or is at least meant to) a level playing field in terms of having a platform to share your message. If you look at this first graphic you’ll notice how many people are ACTIVELY on Social Media compared to the overall population of the world:
Almost half of the entire world’s population are not only on Social Media but are active. “Activeness” is usually measured as monthly active users. What’s even more astounding is the constant growth in Social Media users since it’s conception. This next graphic only takes us back as far as 2014 (what a year) but you get the jist:
The point of all of this is that Social Media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and if you’re a business or business owner that thinks you can escape the craze… you’re sadly mistaken. Just as many companies struggled to adapt to the industrial revolution, and many more failed to adapt throughout the .com era, there will be a divide between those that will make it and those that won’t. Use this opportunity to learn from history, be open to change, invest in your future and ride the wave of the connectivity era.
All great stuff but what does this have to do with Lil Nas X? Great question Jimmy! In a world that is so hyper connected, we’re prone to outbreaks of fast paced virality and success. I want to briefly walk through the historical Lil Nas X music saga as an ode to the speed of the culture we live in today. If not to inspire you’re doubling down on the importance of Social Media then to at least tell you a good story.
If you’re not already familiar with the story of Montero Lamar Hill, you're about to learn today! Montero Lamar Hill a.k.a Lil Nas X is a self made rapper from the Atlanta, Georgia area. He was rapping over beats that he would find or purchase over the internet and recorded the songs in either his bedroom closet or the closet of his grandma’s house. He came across a beat that was produced by Kio, a little known college student living just outside of Amsterdam. The song was written to be a country x rap crossover and the night Lil Nas X put it out on social media it moved… fast.
His initial tweet in December 2018 amassed over 5 million (that’s million with an M!) views in one night. But it didn’t stop there and it wasn’t an overnight success despite the initial reaction.
Lil Nas X utilized the power of social media to push his song via creative memes, gifs, videos and influencers for months before it really caught on. Before climbing and eventually getting removed from Billboard’s country music charts, it caught the attention of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus who was asked to be featured on the track. He humbly complied and the rest is history. “Old Town Road” is now number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart and has been there for 15 straight weeks.
A track that was produced in an Amsterdam student's bedroom and recorded inside of a closet in Atlanta has become the world’s most popular song of 2019. And that my friend’s is the power of the internet and social media.
Keep Riding Those Waves
For the next Episode: Ever heard of the Cannes Marketing Festival? + Why Tik Tok is killing it.